Domain Name Transfer FAQ

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Web Hosting Transfer FAQ

  1. What are the necessary steps to transfer my website to AvaHost? 
  2. Why can some people see my website, while others can't?
  3. Why are changes to my domain name taking longer than normal?
  4. I could see my website yesterday, but not today?
  5. Why can't I perform a ping or traceroute on my website?
  6. Why can my ISP's support department see my site and I can't?
  7. Is there anywhere else I can get more information?

What are the necessary steps to transfer my website to AvaHost?

When you transfer your website to a new web hosting company you will need to do a few simple steps:

  1. Transfer your Domain Name
    Go to the website where you registered your domain name ( and log in.  Most registrars will have several domain name management options for you to choose from.  You will want to choose an option that will say something like "Change Web Hosting Companies" or "Change DNS Info".  Your domain registrar may have slightly different terminology.  If you have difficulty their technical support department will be able to assist you. 

    Once you have found the correct area at your registrar you will need to supply them with the Primary and Secondary DNS information that you were sent when you received the login information for your website.
  2. Upload your files
    When you receive your username and password you can use any standard FTP program to upload the pages and images to your website.  A guide for Using FTP is located Here
  3. Wait
    It takes 24-48 hours for changes to the DNS information at your registrar to be available to the vast majority of the internet, although it may take from 1-2 weeks for 100% propagation.  During this time it is normal for some people to be able to view your website, while others may not be able to.  This is due to the way that domain names are resolved by your local dialup or broadband ISP.  If you are transferring a website from another web hosting company it is recommended that you keep both your old and your new website active and allow at least a week before you shut down your old website.  This allows people that have ISP's that update their records less often continuous access to your website. 
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Why can some people see my website while others can't?

When you type a domain name ( into your browser it has to have a way to find the correct website.  The way that this happens is that your browser sends a request to your local ISP's DNS (Domain Name Server).  Every ISP has to keep a complete record of where every single domain name on the internet should resolve or nothing would happen when you type into your web browser. 

Your ISP gets it's list from the Internic which maintains the central domain name registry.  The Internic database is updated daily based upon changes submitted to it by each domain name registrar.  Because the list is constantly changing, your ISP needs to update it's list quite often in order for your browser to always find the correct website.  Every ISP will update it's list at a different interval than the next.  Some get the new list twice a day, while others update once a week.  Generally speaking the larger ISP's Earthlink, Ameritech, AOL, etc... will have a more current version of the registry than small town ISP's, but that is not always the case. 

Typically it takes 24-48 hours for new registrations or changes to a domain name to be visible to the vast majority of the internet.  However, because of the dependency upon so many local and national ISP's to update their DNS records, it is very common for you to be able to see your website sooner than your friends and colleagues, or vice versa. 

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Why are changes to my domain name taking longer than normal?

When you register or modify a domain name with your domain name registrar it has to be submitted to Internic in order for the entire process to start.  Most registrars submit changes twice daily, however, some discount registrars have been known to submit changes to Internic only once every several days.  The processing time of your registrar, combined with the DNS updating schedule of local ISP's, can delay changes to your DNS records to be unavailable to a portion of the internet for up to a week or more.  If you are changing web hosting company's during this period it is recommended that you keep your old site active for at least a week in order to allow for the lag time by your registrar, and all ISP's. 

Don't forget to check your domain name in the Whois record at:

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I could see my website yesterday, but not today?

This can be caused by a number of factors during the propagation period - troubleshooting tips are as follows:

  • Temporary internet files: 
    Clear out your history, and your temporary internet files, close your browser, and try again.  If your browser is trying to use stored data, it may try to pull files from your old website.
  • Check your site with a second dialup connection:
    Check your site with a second dialup connection such as AOL, or call a friend that has a different ISP than you do.  If they can see your site, while you cannot, then it is an issue with your ISP. 
  • Call Your ISP's technical support department:
    When you notice that it's taking a longer than normal time for your changes to propagate, it is a good idea to call your dialup provider's technical support department to troubleshoot your situation.

Typical reasons to have intermittent availability of your website during the propagation period are:

  • Multiple DNS servers:
    Your ISP may have multiple DNS servers which can take turns answering request from browsers.  They may rotate duties for each request, or you may have a specific DNS server for each session that you are logged into the internet.  Each DNS server may be operating from a different version of the master DNS file from the Internic. 
  • Cached DNS:
    Check with your ISP to see if they are using a "cached" (pronounced "cashed") DNS file, and how long it has been since it has been "flushed".  Caching means that the server has a copy of recently requested domains in it's active memory so it will not have to access it's hard drive for new requests for domain names that it has recently retrieved.  If you are browsing to a site that has been cached, even if the server has the correct info in it's DNS file, it may have a cached version that has the old information.  This will mean that you will not be able to view your website until the cache has been flushed.  Most ISP's flush their cache daily.
  • Corrupted DNS:
    Occasionally your ISP's DNS records will be corrupted.  The ISP's DNS file can become corrupted if there was some loss during the data transfer, or part of the file was written to a bad sector on the DNS server's hard drive.    While this is a rare occurrence, it has been known to happen, and will usually be fixed by waiting until the next update of your ISP's DNS file.
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Why can't I perform a ping or traceroute on my website??

As a security precaution, our hosting servers will have ICMP turned off.  This prevents the server from responding to ping or traceroute requests.  This helps to prevent DOS (denial of service) attacks by hackers, and is done to help keep your website safe.

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Why can my ISP's support department see my website and I can't?

This is a common occurrence when a website is in it's propagation period.  The most common cause is that your ISP's support person may be using a different DNS server than you are assigned as a dialup customer.  This is especially true with larger ISP's that may have customers in many cities, and many DNS servers.  When the technician checks your website, he may also be bypassing the cache in the DNS server, allowing him to view your site. 

Note: Occasionally an ISP's tech support will suggest that you are being blocked by your web host's server from some reason.  If you are hosted with AvaHost that is simply not true.  As long as your website is visible to people dialing in from various ISP's then everything is configured correctly, and is running properly, and the only thing you can do is wait for your ISP to update their DNS file.

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Is there anywhere else I can get information?

For more information on how DNS system woks read the Internic FAQ located at:

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